It looks like Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff are teaming up to try to bring down Attorney General Bill Barr.
“Public confidence in our system of justice depends on the integrity, fairness, and impartiality of DOJ’s leadership,” Schiff and Nadler wrote as they demanded an IG review of Bill Barr’s conduct.
“It is, therefore, imperative that the Attorney General be held to the same high standard expected of all Department personnel, particularly in matters involving the President’s own interests,” they added.
From Fox News:
Nadler and Schiff’s letter comes just days after Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., requested the same review of Barr’s comments.
Both letters reference comments made by Barr in an interview with Fox News earlier this month.
When he said Atkinson had “ignored” guidance from the Justice Department that “he is obliged to follow,” and that the president “did the right thing” by firing him.
In the interview, Barr said that “from the vantage point of the Department of Justice, [Atkinson] had interpreted his statute, which is a fairly narrow statute, that gave him jurisdiction over wrongdoing by intelligence people and tried to turn it into a commission to explore anything in the government and immediately reported to Congress without letting the Executive Branch look at it and determine whether there was any problem.”
Nadler and Schiff, who led the impeachment inquiry in the House and served as prosecutors in the Senate impeachment trial, detailed the whistleblower complaint Monday, saying it “detailed President Trump’s efforts to coerce Ukraine to announce a politically motivated investigation of his rival in the 2020 presidential election.”
“Mr. Barr’s remarks followed the President’s admission on April 4 that he fired Mr. Atkinson in retaliation for Mr. Atkinson’s handling—in accordance with the law—of the whistleblower complaint,” they wrote.
“Mr. Barr’s misleading remarks appear to have been aimed at justifying the President’s retaliatory decision to fire Mr. Atkinson.”
Schiff and Nadler went on to underscore Feinstein and Warner’s letter, sent on Friday, saying that Atkinson “neither ‘ignored’ DOJ guidance, nor acted contrary to his legal and professional obligations in handling the whistleblower complain, as Mr. Barr alleged.”
“To the contrary, Mr. Atkinson faithfully discharged his legal obligation as an independent and impartial Inspector General in accordance with federal law,” they wrote, adding that the former acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, “affirmed this in his sworn testimony,” by saying Atkinson “handled the Ukraine whistleblower complaint ‘by the book’ and in strict accordance with statutory requirements.